Friday, 17 January 2014

The Buried Life Project

Author’s Note

Grade twelve is a strange year. All of a sudden, you’re facing down all these supposedly important decisions with very little life experience. Even though people are quick to assure you that it’s okay to take a year or two off to figure your life out - there’s no rush - it still feels as if there’s this pervasive expectation that you’re going to forge ahead and choose a path, any path; and there’s this feeling that there’s no going back if you don’t pick the right one (I think this stems from lack of life experience, because I theoretically understand that my life is whatever I wish it to be, but still the feeling remains). 

I’m trying to stay open-minded. I didn’t figure out what I wanted to do after high school until a couple months ago, and I’m not even sure if I’ve really figured it out or if I just picked something for the sake of picking something. That being said, while I have no idea what I’ll end up doing career wise (I expect “making money” and “making a living” may be separate concepts for much of my life), I have lots of ideas as to what I want to do with my life. Many are lifelong dreams of mine; some are just random quirky things I hope to accomplish at some point. I don’t know that I’ll ever complete the whole list (especially considering this list is not set in stone - it’s a living, growing entity), but whether I do or not really doesn’t matter. 

Because ultimately, we don’t make these lists because we want to accomplish every single item. It’s the idea that we like; the thought that at any point we can just grab life by the horns and direct it where we want to go instead of being a blind follower. Therefore, whether or not I actually complete all the things on this list is irrelevant - I've figured out some of what I want out of life, and that's half the battle.

The List

  1. Get tattooed.
  2. Go on a long hiking trip.
  3. Learn to dance, properly.
  4. Write songs. Perform them.
  5. See something I’ve written in print.
  6. Donate blood.
  7. Spend a whole night under the stars.
  8. Make a sculpture.
  9. Retreat from the internet for longer than a week.
  10. Live independently of my parents.
  11. Make a quilt.
  12. Get another piercing.
  13. Paint a room by tossing paint at it (like this).
  14. Study fine arts at a university level.
  15. Travel to both the East & West coasts.
  16. Fill a forest with hammocks. Invite friends.
  17. Learn to speak German.
  18. Go skydiving.
  19. Learn to play another instrument (maybe a theremin).
  20. Attend the entirety of Folkfest by camping.
  21. Use every single page in a sketchbook.
  22. Learn to make cabbage rolls.
  23. Swing from a chandelier.
  24. Get my driver’s license.
  25. Live in Wolseley.
  26. Start a band.
  27. Work in a used bookshop.
  28. Have a cat.
  29. Design and make a dress.
  30. Sell something I’ve made.
  31. Learn to ride a horse bareback
  32. Perform in front of a large audience (~more than 500).
  33. Sing in a choir.
  34. Grow a garden of wildflowers.
  35. Break something big. On purpose.
  36. Chop down a (dead) tree.
  37. Make a gargantuan fire with said tree.
  38. Plant a new tree in its place. Plant lots of them.
  39. Get a professional massage.
  40. Finish a knitting project.
  41. Travel to Asia.
  42. Dye my hair (bold colours).
  43. Learn to make my own beauty products.
  44. Climb a (really big) tree. Bring books with me.
  45. Go on a bike trip.
  46. Learn to drift a car.
  47. Visit the castle where Harry Potter was filmed.
  48. Get a set of really nice speakers.
  49. Own a house.
  50. Make homemade tea.
  51. Climb a mountain.
  52. Start a fire without matches.
  53. Be an extra in a movie.
  54. Write several songs about everyday life. Turn life into a musical.
  55. Hang out on the roof of a skyscraper.
  56. Finish my music theory exam.
  57. Travel to the UK.
  58. Make some digital art.
  59. Learn how to use my pinhole camera.
  60. Keep a photographic diary.
  61. Live in an extremely remote place.
  62. Live in the heart of a city.
  63. Go skinny-dipping.
  64. Own a pair of cat’s-eye sunglasses.
  65. Travel to a foreign place for the sole purpose of doing art there.
  66. Participate in a flash mob.
  67. Live in a wall-to-wall mirrored room. Gradually go insane.
  68. Remember to floss.
  69. Ride in a glass bottomed boat.
  70. See the Aurora Borealis.
  71. Sleep outside during a meteor shower.
  72. Learn a martial art.
  73. Go a year without buying anything new (save for food, soap, and other necessities).
  74. Draw portraits of strangers.
  75. Take a road trip with friends (I should probably befriend a mechanic).
  76. Perhaps get over my annoyance with round numbers. This list sat at 75 for a long time. I just couldn't let that happen. OTHER NUMBERS DESERVE RECOGNITION TOO. Hear me out on this one.

Now What?

Out of all the things on this list, I think that "donate blood" is the most immediately accomplishable item. (That, and "remember to floss," but I'm not going to talk about that one as flossing generally does not have a reputation for saving lives.) We'll be having a blood donor clinic right at the school in May, and as I'll be volunteering for it anyways, I may as well donate. I'm a little nervous about the aftereffects because I'm not a whole lot over the minimum weight requirement, but I'm sure I'll be fine if I eat and drink well beforehand. Plus, if you donate at the school, you get free pizza. Why would you not donate? I mean, PIZZA. It's frightening how easy it is to bribe me with food, but it is for a good cause and I might do it even without the pizza. 

The only other item on my list that I'm really keen on doing is "get tattooed." Which, of course, is why it's in the number one spot. In a number of months, I'll be eighteen and thus able to get a tattoo without parental consent (not that my parents are vehemently opposed to tattoos - this is just something I have to do myself). I'm not making any plans to get tattooed straightaway on my eighteenth birthday because I don't want to rush into getting a tattoo I'm not absolutely sure about. However, I suspect I will have at least one tattoo before I turn nineteen. I've wanted to get tattooed before I even knew how the process works, and I won't go into all the details, but one of the reasons I want a tattoo is one of the reasons many people don't - they're permanent.

(I realize the font of this post is different from the rest of my blog. I promise you it's bothering me just as much as it's bothering you.)


  1. I really enjoyed the creative side you showed while taking your photos! All you're pictures were really really nice! I also enjoyed how you explained each item and shared a little story about it! It made it an awesome experience to get to know you better! You did an awesome job!

  2. I like the variety of things on your list. Some smaller-scale, more easily achievable, whereas some of them are crazy and big ones that won't happen immediately. Also, your pictures are very creative.

  3. I absolutely loved your visuals, they're super creative! I also really liked, as Sammy said, how you have some that are smaller and easier to achieve and some are a lot bigger and will take work. That's really awesome!(: